Director Kelly Reichardt on ambiguity, subverting genre, and her new film Night Moves. (Keyframe)
Keyframe: Your previous film, Meek’s Cutoff, represented a different way to look at western. Night Moves does similar thing with thriller. How conscious was the idea of following or not following the rules of the genre in the filmmaking process?
Reichardt: Filmmaking is a very conscious. Usually in the writing stage I don’t think about genre, I’m mostly interested in characters and place. But in this case it started with a short love story that took place on a farm, involving someone hiding there after committing some radical environmental act. I read this story about two years ago, so I can hardly say I remember everything about it. I liked the idea of the secluded world of the farm and someone hiding there. Then we told ourselves ‘let’s do a caper,’ but like Rififi, where the movie actually stops at some point to show a process itself. I loved the detail in that film, how they showed what it takes to plan and execute a break-in. You know, the little things, like drilling and having to wrap the shirt around the drill to keep it quiet. So we just got on board with the genre idea, even during the writing, and certainly in actual filmmaking.